Local / independent bookstore strategy

Long-time readers of this newsletter know that Sunbury Press has had a program for many years to sell directly to the local and independent bookstores. This arrangement bypasses the middle-man distributorships and leads to more revenue for the publisher and higher royalties for our authors.
We have recently refreshed our list of independent bookstores around the country and find that it has increased to over 1200 potential customers! Imagine if we could sell just one book to each — or ten or 100 for that matter. Sales would be on the upswing!
We will be ramping up our interactions with this list through email campaigns. This will be geared towards our typical 40% discount / net 30 / returnable arrangement with them. We want to focus on this as we turn away (for a while) from Barnes and Noble.
Any author who wants a copy of the list of bookstores in your area, just reach out. We’re happy to send it if you intend to do outreach yourself. Independent bookstores are usually better outlets to have book signings / readings.
Some of you have been very proactive in contacting media. As you know, we have unlimited access to the Cision publicity platform and have been adjusting how we use it. Rather than pitching book review opportunities to media types (which has resulted in mailing lots of free copies with limited results), we would prefer to request author interviews. Building this earned media can have a tremendous impact on your book sales. We’re finding a simpler, more direct message has been more effective that our sell-sheet style pitches. The best time to pitch is when something is happening in the news that relates to your book.
If you are interested in a targeted media list to work on yourself, I would be more than happy to share. Just let me know what parameters you are looking for — region / metro areas / areas of interest. You might start with media in your immediate vicinity to try to build relationships — or seek specific media interested in your content. There are over three million personalities in the database!

Cision results

We have now been users on the Cision platform for nearly three months. So far, I am very pleased with the results. As we continue to master this tool, I expect we will do even better.
I realize most of you have yet to benefit from this. We are in the process of going through our releases and starting campaigns for them on the tool. We are working back from our most recent releases. Eventually, our goal is to run a campaign for every author and book under contract.
Here’s what’s been happening so far. We have access to 1.6 million people in media. We have a 5000 limit for each email. Our typical email taps about 2000 people — we try not to abuse the system. We’ve noticed we get about two hits per thousand. This means, for every email in the campaign, we are getting requests for review copies or interviews. We have noticed a better return for nonfiction versus fiction.
Over time, as we steadily send emails about your books, we should have a steady pulse of media attention. Please be ready to respond when its your turn. Also, be sure to let us know if you don’t want to be on TV or radio.